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CMLL Tuesday: An American Invasion
Would you believe it, tonight’s CMLL Tuesday show turned out to be better than last night’s dance in Puebla. Who knew?! Granted last night’s show was kind of boring and tonight’s card was good enough that anything passable would be better, but still worth pointing out. So how good was tonight’s show? I’d say…pretty good. You won’t find any match of the year contenders on here but there were plenty of really good individual performances and some really interesting stuff. Best of all, CMLL did pull the trigger on the big match next week, which if nothing else makes this show the win, the whole win and nothing but the win right there. But enough about catchphrases I can’t get over, let’s get the party started. Moses; meme with me!
Leono & Sensei defeated Camorra & Cholo two falls to one
Pretty much you would think; an average at best match where nothing of significance happened. Hey at least it wasn’t outright terrible right? Ironically I thought the best part of the bout was the end, where Leono (once more the only guy who looked to have a pulse) rolled up Camorra and literally had to struggle to keep the rudo down for the pin. Like they were moving around the ring it was such a struggle! I liked that finishing touch and if nothing else it was interesting, which is more than you can say for the preceding ten plus minutes the match gave.
Astral, Eléctrico, Stukita defeated Demus 3:16, Pequeño Nitro, Pequeño Violencia two falls to one
We’re only two matches in and we’ve already reached the most consistent match of the evening. The first fall was pretty good, bolstered by the continued great chemistry between Demus and Astral, as well as some wonderful Stukita theatrics. The second fall was disappointing, especially the end where a whole lot of stalling and botching took place, like poor Demus sitting up to early and taking a crossbody from Astral on his back. Not even Batman v Superman going unappreciated hurt that much.
Naturally the third fall turned things around, which coincided with when the dives started to come. The action actually picked up with a non diving sequence (Eléctrico viciously kicking Demus off the apron and to the floor) which was then followed by Astral and Stukita taking to the air. Fun fact; Stukita stuck the landing on his no look moonsault, mainly because he’s Stukita and a straight up gangster. They even carried the momentum over to the ending, which saw Demus look to have the match won with a muscle buster, only for Eléctrico to escape and surprise him with a roll up for the win. It was a great way to end the match and if not for the second fall probably would’ve helped made this a Match of the Evening contender. As such that second fall, and the inefficiency of Violencia and Nitro (who was so fast he somehow wound up off pace), brings this a notch down.
Blue Panther Jr., Fuego, Pegasso defeated Misterioso Jr., Okumura, Sagrado two falls to one
This match started off so, SO slow thanks to Misterioso lounging about, before the pace picked up once Junior, Okumura and Pegasso got involved. Man I don’t know what’s gotten into Pegasso but he’s been significantly more consistent the past two times out, flying around and bumping like crazy tonight for Sagrado and Misterioso. He made both of those guys look really good in the early second fall just by selling for them and got the pace kicking at the start of the third fall. May this new Pegasso stick around forever! He wasn’t alone though. Okumura, even with the two anchors weighing him down, was consistent as usual and seemed to have great sequences with all the technicos. Fuego mostly relied on shtick, but you can’t blame him as it gets cheers, and he did nail a nice plancha towards the end of the match. And wouldn’t you know it, Junior once again looked great. I’m not sure he was better than Pegasso here but he continued to like the total package and seemed even more charismatic than usual. They once more rewarded him with a win (seems like Junior has been getting a lot of W’s these days) and it should only be a matter of time before he gets a shot at a solo match. Not that I don’t love Junior in these trios matches, but it feels like it’s time to have him branch out. Perhaps a Lightning Match with Fujin? Okumura? Or maybe even someone outside the box like Sam Adonis? After tonight I’d safely say that’s a match that would put butts in the seats.
Pólvora defeated Esfinge
You got the sense that these two were trying to do their own version of the Hechicero-Soberano Lightning Match from a few weeks ago. It didn’t quite work; I never thought they were going to go far enough where it might be a draw (though the match did make it past the seven minute mark) and Pólvora spent a little too much time stalling and looking sluggish during the middle portion. Even still this was better than I expected it to be, mostly because Esfinge was better than I expected him to be. This was a far better pace than he usually cuts and he hit a couple of dives that were mighty impressive. I honestly thought it was a showcase match for him until Pólvora pulled it out after he nailed a might sweet Electric Chair driver like move at the end to put the match away. If nothing else, you can’t take that move or that victory away from Pólvora. You just wish he had been as impressive the first seven minutes as he was towards the end. At least he can say he was the only rudo to win tonight. Holy shit; Pólvora was the only rudo to win tonight! Good lord Paco Alonso must be furious somewhere. In fact here's a live look at his reaction.
Guerrero Maya Jr., Johnny Idol, Rey Cometa defeated Bobby Z, Sam Adonis, Vangellys two falls to one
You know how last night in Puebla the first match went on for so long and was absolutely boring? Tonight CMLL did a match where the first fall went long, only it was absolutely riveting. The reason; CMLL gave time to the two young guys in Idol and Adonis and they knocked it out of the park. The only remnants of the weaknesses I felt Adonis had the first time I saw him were when he lacked some velocity going for a running splash in the corner, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he meant to do that in a mocking way towards Idol. Otherwise he was superb, showing off that underrated athleticism on a top rope crossbody, some impressive power moves and most of knowing when to play up and interact with the audience. Adonis understands how to get heat for a match and there were times he reminded me of Jack Evans in there. Goodness me, imagine a tag team of Evans and Adonis with the latter as Evans’ even cockier bodyguard? Someone should pitch that. Even better about Adonis being more involved is that it got Idol more involved. The New Zealander finally looked like he was allowed to do more than the occasional spot and I thought he looked great both diving around and especially on the mat, where he and Adonis did most of their work early. These guys are good people and you’d like to see CMLL allow them to work together more do the ease they have with each other. I mean if we can give Pólvora and Esfinge a Lightning Match, why can’t we give one to Adonis and Idol?
Of course there were more guys in this than them and for the most part they all delivered too. Again, the most interesting action came in the first fall and largely came from a rudo beat down where the rudos, get this, actually employed an American style quick tag system to take advantage of a wounded Idol. You see it all the time in the US but hardly in Mexico, and I thought it was a really nice change of pace, especially since it gave Vangellys and Bobby Z more than they would usually get by themselves. Everything after that was fine, especially from Rey Cometa (who took over the third fall); it just never quite got as interesting as the first fall did. I also would’ve liked to have seen more Guerrero Maya Jr.; he got some cool dives here and there but otherwise felt like a background performer, a pity seeing as he’s so talented. Those minor quibbles aside though this was a good match and overall I think the best and most consistent showing of the evening. Maybe next time CMLL can add an extra hook to it so it can lead to something more for these guys. Speaking of hooks…
Dragón Lee, Rush, Titán defeated Matt Taven, Luciferno, Mephisto two falls to one
Here’s the only match that gave us one going forward! Not that that was a surprise but hey at least it’s something. And we needed that something through the first two falls, which moved at a pace so slow I’m pretty sure Speed Racer lapped them a thousand times. I don’t know what the issue was but the rudo beat downs didn’t click, the inability of the technicos to muster any offense was annoying and the lack of Rush involvement, either by choice or by booking (likely the former as he and Dragón Lee were cool in this match) just led to a very pedestrian first two falls. Then the third fall happened and suddenly everything worked. I’d say the biggest reasons were Rush, Lee and Taven; once these three got into the match the pace suddenly picked up and at times it felt like things could get electric. Rush was Rush, Lee slipped effortlessly back into his dynamic routine and Taven was absolutely stupendous. I’m not sure he’s even been there a week and already the ROH veteran looks like he’s figured out how to adapt. Just a superb performance, and his work with Rush and Lee here should be something CMLL looks into more. Alas even with their great work the story of the match was Titán and Mephisto (Luciferno was mostly a background guy), and while they weren’t as exciting they each had moments and did what they needed to do; get us hyped for their showcase next week. And a showcase it should be; there’s few rudos out there more consistent than Mephisto and Titán has the ability to match any high flyer on any given day. I have every belief they’ll kill it next week and hopefully CMLL gives us a moment or two to believe Titán can pull of the victory (a hard feat considering he’s beaten Mephisto twice in a row). Well that and a good card to surround them.
That’s it folks. I’m off till tomorrow, where I’ll be reviewing Lucha Underground and breaking out a special column in regards to a WCW Monday Nitro from 1998. Till then, COOP!